Monday, March 31, 2008

A New Medical Malady

Here we go again. It seems as though I'm just predestined to weird medical issues with no known cause and, often times, no known cure. In the past, these have consisted of things like Bell's Palsy, psoriasis, allergies to ibuprofen and Vicodin and possibly an "allergy to pregnancy" according to my OB. This weekend, yet another popped up. What I had thought was a swollen lymph node began growing and getting so sore I could barely lift my arm. So, on Saturday I couldn't take it anymore and went to Urgent Care. My first Saturday night absoltely alone and that's how I got to spend it! It turns out I had an enormous abscess which needed to be lanced and drained (lovely, I know. For your viewing pleasure, I am omitting any photos in this entry). After this painful process, they had to insert a drain in my arm and I had to go fill presciptions for pain medicine and antibiotics. And this morning I woke up with a rash all over my neck, throat and upper arms. So, it was off to the doctor again. After taking a look at my arm (really, let's be honest here, it was in my armpit, not just my arm), the nurse practioner said "Keep an eye on this. There's a chance this might be MRSA. I don't think it is, but make sure you take your antibiotics." MRSA??? It would be just like me to contract MRSA somehow even though I've practically quarantined my family this winter to avoid all illnesses. I'm sure she saw the fear in my eyes and she let me know that she really doesn't think it's MRSA and that some people are just susceptible to this sort of thing and that my post-pregnancy hormones might be to blame. Oh, and no deodorant for at least 2 weeks. I hope I don't smell too much like the Cosmopolitan fraternity circa 1998.

In the meantime, we leave tomorrow for Charlotte. I have to do laundry, clean so the house is livable for our dog/house sitter and pack, pack, pack! But, really, I just want to take a nap as Tate was up 4 times last night. 4! Of course he's been sleeping great all day! I am so excited to go back home, see our friends, enjoy what I hope will be lovely spring weather and take my little social butterfly Rowan to all of her playdates where she'll play and I'll show off little Tate. I'm a bit less excited for the flight with 2 children, 2 carseats and other gear to haul around the airport in GR, then in Chicago for our layover, then finally in Charlotte just after midnight. Should be something to blog about!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Soaking wet with a knot on her head...

is how Rowan left our playdate today. We met Susan and her girls at Monica and Brady's house for a playdate. All was going well until Monica and I decided to start looking at some houses on the computer. Susan went to take Lily to the bathroom and I hear her say "Oh no!" Jokingly I said "Did someone fall in?" Sure enough, Rowan ran in with them, climbed onto the toilet and fell right in--fully clothed. How sanitary! I no longer keep extra clothes for Rowan in the diaper bag, so I had to put her in a size 9 months boys romper that Monica had given us for Tate! It was way too short, but Rowan didn't seem to mind too much. I was laughing and I think she was a little embarrassed. Then Susan and I were talking and Rowan managed to fall off the couch onto the corner of the coffee table and hit her head. A bit of a rough day, but we all still had a great time. Rowan loved playing with her friends and I had a great time getting out, too.

We're back from my mom's, Lance is back from Chicago and life is seeming "normal" again. We don't have much planned for the weekend, which is really nice, and I heard a rumor that it's supposed to get into the 50s on Monday! So, we just might spend the weekend playing outside and maybe looking at a house or two!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Merry Christmas! I mean, Happy Easter!

Ah, what a lovely spring weekend. A good 15 inches of snow fell on Friday, much of it while I was on my way to Kalamazoo for Easter weekend. On my way there, both 131 and I94 were closed, as was Westnedge, the major road heading toward my mom's neighborhood. So, what could have potentially been an uneventful trip turned into my making up random country routes to get to Portage. I was quite pleased that I actually made it, despite my incompetence with directions. Of course, the Saturday Easter egg hunt was moved inside (to the library) so my mom took Rowan. Instead of hiding the eggs, they were all just put in large bins and the kids were limited to 30 eggs. Rowan had fun climbing in the bins, emptying out her eggs and giving away all of her candy. This will probably be the last year that she will have no clue what candy is and will happily give it all away. On Easter Sunday, Rowan and Tate got way too many gifts from Grandma. Rowan loved looking for eggs in the house and eating all of their contents. Lance and I laughed that we got away with giving her raisins, dried mango and Cheerios and she was as thrilled as could be. Of course the Diego basket and the Curious George coloring book were a hit, too.

Here we are, at my mom's house, spending the week while Lance is on a business trip in Chicago. I need to make it clear that, although Lance is working, and working hard, I'm pretty jealous. He is in Chicago, one of my favorite cities, and he is sleeping alone in a hotel room, without being woken up several times a night, sometimes for up to 3 hours at a time, by a hungry, wide awake baby. He didn't have to deal with his almost 2-year-old having diarrhea 5 times today and he's not currently listening to Rowan crying through the baby monitor. In fact, he is having dinner with an old high school friend. How can it be that I'm already needing a little getaway? I must say, though, that Rowan and I had fun making a snow bunny yesterday and bran muffins today and Tate is smiling more and more frequently which is pretty darn adorable. Tomorrow my mom won't be going to two Bible studies, so maybe I can beg her to take Rowan to the children's museum so she can do something fun and I can (please, please, please!) take a nap. Or maybe I can actually address a few birth announcements. One can dream...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Elmo is my brother

After this morning's comment ("I love Baby Tate"), Rowan decided this afternoon that Tate is not her brother--Elmo is.

Projectile Poop

As the title suggests, we have been seeing our share of projectile poop recently. I'm pretty sure I remember this happening exactly one time with Rowan--when Lance was changing her--and we got quite a laugh out of it. Tate, on the other hand, seems to get nice and relaxed during a diaper change and just lets it all out. Frequently. More times than I can count, Tate has pooped during a diaper change and here is a short list of some things that have been caught in the line of fire: me (sweater and pants), Lance (hands, clothes), my mom (shirt, pants and FACE!), the bouncy seat (shhh...don't tell Connie who we're borrowing it from. We did thoroughly clean it, though), the wall of our bedroom, the cute soccer ball nightlight and a few rooms of carpeting. Wow! Please say this won't last all the way until potty training!

On another note, Rowan said "I love Baby Tate" today. Is there hope after all?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Our first week alone

Well, we made it through our first week without live-in help and we all survived. Rowan had a playdate with Cooper, I ventured to Target with both children, Steph and Annie came with dinner (thank you, Steph, and I LOVE your hair!), and we even made it to Ally's 1st birthday party. My mom did come for a brief visit on Friday and watch Rowan while Lance and I took Tate to his doctor's appointment. For the record, he is now 9 pounds, 9 ounces. It sounds rather large, but for a few days prior to the appointment, he was eating every 1-2 hours around the clock. I was certain he would be over 10 pounds with that kind of appetite.

The weekend has, once again, flown by. We took a drive through a few neighborhoods in Grandville and Zeeland and preferred them to Hudsonville, but still aren't so sure that we'll find exactly what we're looking for. Rowan was a trooper in the car (of course, she watched DVDs almost the entire time) and today it was nice enough out that, when we got home, I played outside with her drawing with sidewalk chalk and running around. Lance made us a little picnic to eat outside, too. Then I sent him to the grocery store and I'm home doing laundry and hanging out with sweet little Tate while Rowan naps. I'm getting so excited for spring and can't wait to spend more days outside.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Real Date and a Sobbing Child

Yesterday marked my first date with Lance in a long, long time--since October to be exact. After the job offer, any time we had someone watch Rowan, we were busy readying our house for the sale, packing and spending time doing less than exciting, yet necessary, things in Charlotte. Yesterday, when Rowan was down for her nap and Tate had been fed, Lance and I went out for a nice, quiet lunch. We went to City Vu (pronounced "view", and despite the ridiculous spelling, it is a yummy restaurant that is absolutely in no way related to the strip club Deja Vu). I ate things Lance would never eat at home--butternut bisque and a flatbread with winter squash, mushroom ragout and gruyere cheese. Quite delicious. We then walked down 8th Street even though it was cold and windy (but the sun was out!!!) Really, it was a perfect afternoon.

Things at home have been a little less than perfect, however. Poor, poor little Rowan is having the hardest time. She sobs anytime I leave the room, especially at night or naptime, crying and yelling for "mommy". I was very tempted to climb into bed with her and cuddle until she fell asleep. But, if I did it tonight, I'm certain she'd want it every night. So, I refrained and she fell asleep eventually. I think we are throwing a large number of huge changes at her in a short amount of time. First, we left Charlotte, including all of her friends, activities and perfect park weather to move here. Then we moved into a new house, then we decided to bless her with a new baby brother. I know one day she really will feel blessed (at least I certainly hope she will), but, wow, that's a lot for a not-quite-two year old to handle in just 2 months. Really, it's a lot for a perfectly prepared adult to handle. And to think, there will be another move coming again in a few short months.

Today marks the last full day with visitors and I'm hopeful that, once we get into a reasonable routine, Rowan will adapt and things will improve. And I've decided that once our house is officially sold, we will be splurging on babysitters on a regular basis.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Out and About

After a gentle nudge from Steph, I realized that it's okay to leave my newborn child in the care of someone else for a little while and get out of the house. I find myself longing to do something like go to Target, but I decided to indulge Rowan a little bit and take her out for some mommy/daughter time. Yesterday we ventured to the library for the annual book sale and I bought her a ridiculous amount of books that I had never heard of. But, she liked the covers so we went for it. Since we had to leave many of her books in Charlotte, I think we're both excited for some new titles.

Today Lance and I took her out to the Holland Area Arts Council where it was animal night. There were 2 owls, 2 snakes and a turtle. Rowan especially loved the big owl when it was "flying" (flapping it's wings). There were other little kids there and they all were dancing and having a great time. We then strolled down 8th Street for a bit, but it was too cold for me, so we headed home (after, of course, I bought a nutty paddle pop from the Peanut Store).

It's been a tough transition for Rowan and I'm sure that will only escalate when all of our company leaves. Yesterday Rowan seemed somewhat excited about Tate for a brief moment and asked if she could hold him. We set her up on the couch and put Tate on her lap. I took one picture before she took off his hat and knocked him over. Fortunately I had a feeling that might happen, so he landed softly on the couch and wasn't worried in the least. Rowan had a little talking to and I was at least able to snap a few pictures.

I'm very excited for a weekend with little to do (though we may drive around and look at some potential areas to live). I'm hopeful I may even be able to get out of the house alone for a bit, though I won't hold my breath. The sun has been out a few days in a row and I'm feeling spring just might be on it's way. Things are looking up!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Two Beautiful Words...

Under Contract. Yeah! Our house in Charlotte is officially under contract. We negotiated a deal on Saturday and signed the paperwork yesterday. Of course, we then had two more second showings on Sunday, one of whom was ready to make an offer. But, we're pleased enough with the terms of the contract and are set to close April 10. I'm cautiously optimistic. So, Lance and I will be planning a family trip to Charlotte to pack the rest of our things and visit friends. I'm sure a flight with two kids under the age of two coupled with the bittersweet moment of leaving our first home will present some challenges--mainly testing my sanity--but I can't help but be thrilled!

Now we just need to decide where we will be storing all of our stuff--our options are:
1. a storage unit. Great option. But, I'm kind of excited to get our things back and would ideally like to be able to rummage around and find what I need right away.

2. the garage. Good option. But, I'm not sure both Lance and I could park in the driveway and fit.

3. the basement. Also a good option, but this is currently one of Rowan's two play areas and also the place where the television is currently kept (though I have watched a total of 2 times since moving here over two months ago).

Most likely, we will come up with some sort of combination of options 2 and 3. Of course we now are also faced with the decision of where to live in Michigan. Our top choice in terms of a city is East Grand Rapids, though we've pretty much decided the drive might be too much for Lance each day--especially in the winter. Other options are Holland (though I'm not sold on the schools), Zeeland (like the schools, but not so sure about the town), Hudsonville (love the schools, but am not a big fan of the lack of things to do), Grandville (more to do and decent schools) and Jenison (really, I know nothing about this town except that it's halfway between Holland and Grand Rapids).

And a quick update on family life--Tate is now 10 days old. As of 6 days old, he had regained the 8 ounces he initally lost and is in the 95th percentile for weight. I believe Rowan was in the 5th percentile at this age. So, I suppose they are equidistant from the average 50th percentile mark. We've had a few decent nights of sleep and a few sleepless nights, but overall, things are going well. Rowan is quite jealous and loves to snatch Tate's hat off of his head and steal his blanket. When asked what she would like to do, she says "Play Mommy. No Tate." She also likes to say that Tate lives at Grandma's house, though she'll be in for a rude awakening when Grandma goes home tomorrow and Tate stays here. I, personally, haven't left the house since getting back from the hospital (except for a brief doctor's appointment for Tate, a trip to the OB to check out Tate's circumcision and some playtime in the backyard with Rowan making an enormous snowman while she eats the "nummy" snow) and am really longing for a trip to Target or to take Rowan to library time. But having a baby during RSV season kind of quarantines us to the house for a while. Hopefully spring will be here soon and we can at least run around outside.